The Tao of the Backup Catcher, Tim Brown
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The Tao of the Backup Catcher
Playing Baseball for the Love of the Game

Unabridged: 9 hr 32 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Publisher: Twelve

Published: 07/11/2023


This fascinating book chronicles the unsung men of baseball who serve the job, the hardships they face, and their love for a game that would not always love them back―told partly through the experiences of an MLB veteran.​

In baseball there are superstars and stars and everyday players and then there are the rest. Within the rest are role players and specialists and journeymen and then there are the backup catchers. The Tao of the Backup Catcher is about them, the backup catchers, who exist near the bottom of the roster and the end of the bench and between the numbers in a sport–and a society–increasingly driven by cold, hard analytics.

The Tao of the Backup Catcher is a story of grown men who once dreamed of stardom and generational wealth. Instead, they were handed a broom and a deeper understanding of who wins and why, who stands tall and who folds, and who will invest their own lives in catching bullpens and the back ends of doubleheaders.

Backup catchers survive in part because every team needs one. They are necessary, once or twice a week. They prosper because the game, like the world around the game, still needs good souls, honest efforts, open eyes and ears, closed mouths, compassion for the sad parts, a laugh for the silly parts, and a heart that knows the difference. Backup catchers are sports’ big brothers, psychologists, priests, witch doctors, player coaches, father figures and drinking buddies, all wrapped in a suit of today’s polycarbonate armor and yesterday’s dirt. They come with a singular goal–to win baseball games. They play for the greater good. After that, they play for themselves. A reverie on loving the grind and the little things baseball can teach us, The Tao of the Backup Catcher profiles Erik Kratz, Josh Paul, AJ Ellis, Bobby Wilson, Drew Butera, Matt Treanor, and John Flaherty to name a few. 

“This isn’t just a story about baseball. It’s about life and the beauty of knowing and accepting who you are.” ―Jeff Passan